It’s been eight years now since Dallas Green and Alexisonfire parted ways with a sense of finality. Since then, his solo outfit City and Colour has certainly served him and our emotions well. Now on his sixth LP, A Pill For Loneliness, it appears Green might be wishing he had a little help from his fellow man as he sings, “no, I will not seek forgiveness from a world that’s grown so cold and vicious.”

Green’s falsetto has always had a certain heart melting charm and his stories a captivating relatability. The cracking urgency of Sometimes or Little Hell has slowly dissipated, as if Green has over-emoted one too many times. What we’re left with here is a sort of meandering dissatisfaction.

With multiple tracks clocking in beyond six-minute mark it’s the succinct melodies of tracks like ‘Me and the Moonlight’ that resonate most, as Green points his razor-sharp tongue at himself: “When there is no target for your anger, could it be that you’re the one who’s hurt?” It’s in these simple remarks that we can all see ourselves in Green and that’s where his strength has always, and still does, lie.

It’s no surprise to fall in love with the lyrics, but as he quizzes “Have I lost my touch?” on ‘Song of Unrest’ you can’t help but think something is wrong here. Despite the beauty of Green’s take on the state of the world and its isolating savagery, the dramatic over-production distracts. City and Colour has always been at its best when just man and guitar, and the scuzzy ‘Strangers’ is a reminder of just how catchy and simple a Dallas Green track can be.

I could continue to quote from this album an endless number of striking lyrics, but the reality of A Pill For Loneliness is that it gets carried away with flights of fancy that are, more often than not, boring. In the past 14 years City and Colour has released some vital albums, and while this certainly alludes to them, it isn’t quite on a par.